Granite Statue of Tutankhamun

18th Dynasty

c.1350 BC

Upper section of a granodiorite figure of Tutankhamun: wearing a royal ‘nemes’ headcloth, false beard, beaded broad collar, and elaborately pleated kilt, steps forward to present a chest-high pillar that once tapered toward the statue base (now lost). The three exposed surfaces of the pillar are decorated with low raised relief depicting lotus blossoms, bunches of grapes, pomegranates, sheaves of grain, and clutches of bagged ducks hung by their feet. An adjoining fragment from the lower part of the statue preserves the umbels of papyrus plants that “grew” from the base on the proper left side of the sculpture. This may be a depiction of the pharaoh in the guise of the god Hapi, who embodied the Nile in flood. The back-pillar is inscribed.

Source: British Museum

Châle de tête (kain kapala, iket kepala)

1ère moitié du 20e siècle
bâti, batik, coton
Banyumas , Java centrale

© RMN-Grand Palais (musée Guimet, Paris) / Thierry Ollivier

Section Textile du musée Guimet

Sphinx of Senwosret III

12th Dynasty, Middle Kingdom

c.1878-1840 BC

Because of their strength, ferocity, imposing mane, and awesome roar, lions were associated with kingship since prehistoric times. As divine guardians against evil, they also symbolized in cosmic myths the place on the horizon where the sun was reborn every day. With the body of a lion and the head of a human, the sphinx symbolically combined the power of the lion with the image of the reigning king. In this magnificent example, the face belongs to Senwosret III of Dynasty 12 whose features are very distinctive. He wears a pleated linen headcloth, called a nemes headdress, which is symbolic of kingship. The nemes is surmounted by a cobra, which represents the goddess Udjo, one of the protectors of the king. The cobra’s hood and head were either carved separately or they were repaired in antiquity, for there is an ancient dowel hole drilled into the place where the cobra’s upright body would be.

While the Egyptians viewed the standing sphinx as a conqueror, the crouching sphinx was a guardian of sacred places. Thus pairs of sphinxes flanked avenues or entrances to important buildings. This sphinx was carved from a single block of beautifully grained anorthosite gneiss from quarries in Nubia. The sculptor has used the pattern in the stone to great effect on the body of the lion and has masked the potentially awkward transition from animal body to human head with the headdress and the stylized pattern representing the lion’s mane. Note the difference between the ordered long strands of the mane in front and the short, overlapping tufts on the back of the shoulders. Below the beard, a palace facade (serekh) is incised topped by a falcon and the symbol for the sky. Both the king’s Horus name (divine of thrones) and his throne name (shining are the life forces [kas] of Re) are written in the serekh.

(Source: The Met Museum)


Textile Arts

A reader who knows about my growing interest in textile arts recently sent me a link to one of the coolest websites I’ve seen in a while. Curator’s Eye is an online trading place for buyers and sellers of fine art, antiquities, and historical objects. On the site, you’ll find things such as old maps and manuscripts; nautical related art; things from ancient Rome and Egypt; and all sorts of stuff from the American West

Naturally, my favorite things are the ones related to textiles. There are some amazing examples of Asian garments, such as this wonderfully embroidered jacket worn by members of the Kauer people in Indonesia, and this Javanese batik headcloth from the 19th century. There are also some great examples of pre-Columbian and folk art, as well as a knockout gallery for Central Asian and Middle Eastern rugs.

Not to missed is the gallery for Native American weavings, which is what prompted our reader Jay to send me this link. He knows I’ve been shopping for a Navajo blanket or rug, and figured I could use this site to help develop my own personal of taste. Since I’m new to this field, I’ve been taking the time to browse around – so I can figure out which styles I really like before I drop some cold hard cash on something. Curator’s Eye certainly has some incredibly beautiful pieces. What I wouldn’t do to have this thing hanging on my living room wall.

(Big thanks to Jay B. for the link!)

Statue of a kneeling Hatshepsut

18th Dynasty, New Kingdom

At least eight, and perhaps as many as twelve small kneeling statues of Hatshepsut are thought to have been placed somewhere in the uppermost court of her temple at Deir el-Bahri. In these statues Hatshepsut is represented wearing the khat headcloth, and she offers a nemset vessel with a djed pillar superimposed on the front. It has been suggested that the combined use of the headdress, the vessel, and the djed pillar, which symbolizes endurance, is intended to evoke the setting up of a djed pillar at a king’s rejuvenation festival, or Heb Sed. It has also been suggested that Hatshepsut intended to celebrate a Heb Sed toward the end of her reign.

(Source: The Met Museum)

Sphinx of Hatshepsut

This colossal sphinx portrays the female pharaoh Hatshepsut with the body of a lion and a human head wearing a nemes headcloth and royal beard. The sculptor has carefully observed the powerful muscles of the lion as contrasted to the handsome, idealized face of the pharaoh. It was one of at least six granite sphinxes that stood in Hatshepsut’s mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahri. Smashed into many fragments at the order of Hatshepsut’s nephew and successor Thutmose III and dumped in a quarry close by, this beast was recovered by the Metropolitan Museum’s Egyptian Expedition and reassembled. It weighs more than seven tons.


Unknown (Egyptian)

Seated Statue of Hatshepsut

c. 1503-1482 B.C.E.

Red granite

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

From the Museum:

  This graceful, lifesize statue depicts Hatshepsut in female attire, but she wears the nemes headcloth, a royal attribute usually reserved for the reigning king. In the columns of text inscribed beside her legs on the front of the throne, she has already adopted the throne name Maatkare, but her titles and epithets are still feminine. Thus, she is Lady of the Two Lands and Bodily Daughter of Re. On the back of the throne, part of an unusual and enigmatic scene is preserved. At the left is the goddess Ipi, a protective deity depicted as a pregnant hippopotamus with feline legs who wears a crocodile draped across her head and down her back and carries knives. This goddess was the protector of pregnant women and of children and thus would have been associated with the reigning queen. This mixture of attributes belonging to king and queen suggests that the statue comes from the time when Hatshepsut was making the transition from Queen regent to coruler with her nephew Tuthmosis III.

In the early 1920s the Museum’s Egyptian Expedition excavated numerous fragments of the statue near Hatshepsut’s temple at Deir el-Bahri in western Thebes. The torso, however, had been found in 1869 and was in the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden. A recent loan has allowed the pieces to be reunited for the first time since the statue was destroyed in about 1460 B.C.E.


ca. 1785
silk, linen
Accession Number:

Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (1743–1794) and His Wife (Marie-Anne-Pierrette Paulze, 1758–1836)
Jacques Louis David (French, Paris 1748–1825 Brussels)
Oil on canvas
Accession Number:

Bobbin lace veil, French
Identifier: 536-1875
Creation date: 1795
Material: materials for decoration, application and technical finishing
Place: Lille
Object Type: veil (headcloths)
Original object type: Veil
Technique: lace

The Met & europeana fashion

Posted by: Karyela Gallardo

Gold Coin

Aksumite Kingdom, Ethiopia

450-500 AD

(obverse) Head and shoulders bust of Ebana right, crowned, holding short stick (or branch / fly-whisk?), flanked by two wheat-stalks, in a beaded circle; H above head.
(reverse) Head and shoulders bust of Ebana right, wearing headcloth, holding branch / fly-whisk (?) (or short stick / sceptre), flanked by two wheat-stalks, in a beaded circle.

Source: British Museum